February 23 to March 10, 2021 ribbon Canada Winter Games 2007
Half Pipe thrills a full house
2007, March 5th:

The trek up Mount Sima by snowmobile "taxi's" didn't deter the crowd of a hundred or so people who turned out to watch the Half Pipe snowboarding finals during the Canada Winter Games on Wednesday afternoon. In spite of the sun, it was still a chilly 25-below, but there was no better place to be – especially for Team Nova Scotia, whose own Alexandra Duckworth took home the Gold in the Women's event, the first medal to go to that province. Having completed a semester at Acadia University in the fall, Duckworth took the rest of the winter off to train with a group of snowboarders in Utah, and will return to Nova Scotia after the Games. Silver and Bronze went to Breanna Strangeland of Alberta and Megan Chamberlin of B.C.

Yukoner Katrina Couch had a fantastic day, placing 10th in the women's final, a great finish for the only female on the Yukon snowboarding team.

"We've only been training on the half pipe for three or four months," says fellow Yukon team member, Gabe McFarlane. "Some of these guys have been training for three or four years. It's cool to be in the same category with others who have so much more experience. It's good to compare, and see what they are doing, what you can pick up." McFarlane and fellow Yukoner Liam Ferguson had good runs Wednesday morning, but didn't qualify for the finals.

Duckworth wasn't the only Nova Scotian to make the finals. Teammate Benjamin Robinson took 8th in the men's event. Alberta's Peter White and Matt Wallace took gold and silver, and BC's Chris Astofooroff took bronze.

But the good news is that the Canada Games sport development programs in the smaller regions of have really paid off, as proven by Ryan Manning of Manitoba placing 10 th and Andrew Matthews of N.W.T. placing 5th in the men's finals. When asked how many snowboarding hills are in his hometown of Yellowknife, Matthews replied, "None." He's been training all winter with a team and coaches in Whistler, B.C.. When asked if he could have come to the Games as part of Team BC, he didn't hesitate. "No thanks. I'm proud of where I come from." Spoken like a true Canadian.

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